Tool Comparison Test 07-2004

Ridgid R2600 5-inch Random Orbit Palm Sander

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We found the Ridgid to have great, smooth handling... it all but operates itself. The brake works quickly and the dust collection is very efficient (about the same as the DeWalt). The tool operates a bit loud (about the same as the Craftsman and Ryobi). It has the esiest to empty dust bag of all the sanders we tested, because of its large opening, rigid interior, screw-on feature which keeps it from accidentally falling off.

We immediately noticed that the tool comes with a plastic cord-prong protector... a nice, albeit small, touch. The lighted plug is a good idea, but it is only noticeable indoors, under a dark tool bench, etc.

Test checklist:
Retail price: Around $70.00
Specifications: 120-volts, 3-amps, 3/32-inch orbit diameter
Weight of sander (fully loaded):
4 lbs.
Variable speed: Variable speed "ratchets" in increments from speed 'A' to speed 'F', for a total of 28 speed settings (7,000 -- 12,000 opm), virtually identical to the Craftsman and Ryobi speed selectors.
Dust collection/ vacuum attachment capabilities: Nice, large dust bag with large opening secures onto the sander with a small twist. Large-mouthed dust collection bag removes from its plastic frame for easy emptying. The sander's dual size dust port allows for both a 1-1/4" and 2-1/2" vacuum hose. Sander uses 'through-pad' dust collection.
Comfort of grip: The sander has soft, rubberized grips on both the top and bottom of the handle, which we found to be a nice touch. The through-body sealed slide switch is located in the same place as on the Craftsman and Ryobi sanders.
Sanding disk attachment: A hook-and-loop sanding pad comes installed on the tool but a second, pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pad is included, secured within its own compartment in the case.
Length of power cord: 12 feet, with built-in cord wrap.
Carrying case features: Sturdy, plastic case with metal clasps and easily identifiable compartments which securely hold the tool and accessories.
Accessories included: Sander, dust bag, 2 sanding disks.
Relative noise level of tool while operating: Moderate
Warranty/ Guarantee: Limited 3-year warranty; 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
Features and notes:

* Lighted plug makes it very clear when power is running to the tool
* Body of the tool appears much like the Craftsman and Ryobi sanders.
* Sander has an integrated brake pad to prevent accidental gouging.

—Gabriel Vandervort

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